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From development to distribution: lessons learned in book supply chain

Thu, April 18, 11:45am to 1:15pm, Hyatt Regency, Pacific Concourse (Level -1), Pacific O

Group Submission Type: Refereed Round-Table Session


The term “book supply chain” or “textbook chain” refers to the process of developing, editing, printing and delivering teaching and learning materials (TLM). This chain is broken down into various key stages (or “links”), as undertaken by publishers, alone or in connection with a country’s Ministry of Education. The process might seem linear and straightforward at first sight, but it is complex and involves many variables.

In the context of evidence-based early grade reading instruction, the complexities of the book supply chain increase significantly. Research has proven that getting children reading at grade level – so that they can read to learn, read to fully unlock their own developmental potential, and read to unlock the potential of the sustainable development of their communities and country – requires a high volume of reading materials, including both textbooks but also supplementary readers/books for students and readaloud texts for teachers; early use of local or national languages; and a level of technicality in terms of pedagogic and linguistic scope and sequence and other specifications often not previously developed in the countries most needing literacy gains (Boissiere 2004; Majgaard and Mingat 2012; UNESCO 2015; UNESCO 2008; Read 2015).

In a series of Ted-Talk style presentations, this panel session will highlight lessons learned and challenges for book supply chain in three different contexts: Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Honduras. Using a recent analysis of Senegal’s textbook chain, this panel will first look at how the Senegal All Children Reading/ Lecture Pour Tous project is helping the ministry of education and private sector publishers streamline the system from development to distribution. The panel will then use the Democratic Republic of Congo as a case study to explore challenges and opportunities that the Acces, Lecture, Redevabilitie et Retention! (ACCELERE!) project faces in the teaching and learning materialssupply chain. Finally, the panel will focus on practical lessons learned from track and trace interventions by the Quality Reading Materials project in Honduras. Grounded in data and on-the-ground experiences, all three presentations in this panel will discuss how findings can be applied to other contexts with the goal of improving book supply chains. The panel will also leave sufficient time for questions and answers.


Boissiere, M. (2004). Determinants of Primary Edcuation Outcomes in Developing Countries: Background Paper for the Evaluation of the World Bank’s Support to Primary Education. World Bank.
Majgaard, K. and Mingat, A. (2012). Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Analysis. World Bank
Read, T. (2015). Where Have All the Texbooks Gone?: Toward Sustainable Provision of Teaching and Learning Materials in Sub-Sharah Africa. Directions in Development. World Bank.
UNESCO (2015). Education for All 2000-2015: Acheivements and Challnges. EFA Global Monitoring Report.
UNESCO (2008). Improving the Quality of Mother Tongue-based Literacy and Learning: Case Studies from Asia, Africa and South America. UNESCO Bangkok.

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